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Behavioral Game Theory: Experiments in Strategic Interaction (The Roundtable Series in Behavioral Economics) Hardcover – 17 Mar 2003
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"This is a terrific book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. In addition to its substantive findings, it contains a wealth of wise methodological insights, generously sprinkled with relevant and stimulating anecdotes."
"Colin Camerer's Behavioral Game Theory is a major achievement. Nothing like it is available thus far, and the author is uniquely qualified to have written it. He has an impressive understanding of both psychology and economics. He has taken the trouble to 'talk through' hundreds of tricky arguments that elsewhere just get stated mathematically. Rarer still is his positive attitude toward modeling, experimentation, econometrics, and other methodologies. If his book invests others with the same open-minded, synergistic outlook, that alone would make it worthwhile."
From the Back Cover
"Colin Camerer's Behavioral Game Theory fills an important niche in the literature. It brings together and synthesizes a large body of experimental and theoretical work on multi-person interactions, in psychology as well as economics. The result is a theory of games enriched by empirical knowledge and significantly closer to what is needed for applications. Camerer's book will make an outstanding principal or supplementary text for graduate or advanced undergraduate courses in game theory and experimental economics."--Vincent Crawford, University of California, San Diego
"Behavioral economics has become very popular and of growing interest both within economics and in social science more generally. It integrates the rational maximizing behavior characteristic of economic models with objectives and beliefs characteristic of sociology and psychology in new and useful ways. Thus, it is increasingly relevant in framing issues such as tax policy, income redistribution, auctions, crime, and drug addiction. In this excellent and welcome work, Behavioral Game Theory, Colin Camerer brings his impressive breadth of knowledge to bear on the behavioral economics of strategic interaction, and thus on the field itself. This book will induce scholars, graduate students, and young social scientists alike to work in this burgeoning and exciting area of intellectual pursuit."--Herbert Gintis, University of Massachusetts and the Santa Fe Institute
"Colin Camerer's Behavioral Game Theory is a major achievement. Nothing like it is available thus far, and the author is uniquely qualified to have written it. He has an impressive understanding of both psychology and economics. He has taken the trouble to 'talk through' hundreds of tricky arguments that elsewhere just get stated mathematically. Rarer still is his positive attitude toward modeling, experimentation, econometrics, and other methodologies. If his book invests others with the same open-minded, synergistic outlook, that alone would make it worthwhile."--David G. Pearce, Yale University
"This is a terrific book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. In addition to its substantive findings, it contains a wealth of wise methodological insights, generously sprinkled with relevant and stimulating anecdotes."--Jon Elster, Columbia University
"Behavioral economics has won whatever intellectual war was fought. It has won in the sense that it has been shown to be superior to the conventional alternatives wherever there has been an evidentiary contest. In a deeper sense, however, there was no war-simply standard science, in which the current generation of scholars builds on and expands the work of previous generations. The work of implementing these advances has only begun. This book explains the nature of the advances to those in economics who were locked away in their workshops while the intellectual contest was being waged and may be unaware of what has happened."--Henry J. Aaron, The Brookings Institution
"It is certainly time that a book such as this be published. This volume will be a 'one-stop shop' for learning about behavioral economics and is likely to be adopted in graduate course in behavioral economics (and may even encourage people to offer such a course). The introductory chapter does a good job of explaining the enterprise, behavioral economics, and providing some history and context."--Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University, coauthor of Women Don't AskSee all Product description
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The book has many strengths. First, Camerer is one of the Very Important Scholars in behavioral economics, and there are less than a handful of people (Matt Rabin) who could conceivably be argued to be more authoritative on the subject matter. Second, Camerer makes extraordinarily good use of summary tables, explicit sections/subsections/subsubsections, summary paragraphs, and the like to help the reader keep track of the details, and to quickly locate the particular details of interest. Third, the introductory chapter offers a wonderful and intuitive introduction to the field; I have often started the first class of a new semester by reproducing the experiments in the chapter as classroom demonstrations. Fourth, the appendices to the introduction offer a good overview of economics experiments and of game theory (no substitute for a full textbook on game theory, of course, but a good refresher, and enough to get the bare bones of the subject). I expect the reader will quickly find many other reasons to admire this book.
This is NOT a book for a casual read by a non-economist. It's a textbook, or a handbook for economists and other people with a reasonable mathematical background who want to see, in one place, the most important results in behavioral game theory (as of a few years ago). It's also designed to present scholarly research, which means the reader should be prepared for the scholar's willingness to leave a lot of loose ends lying around and NOT to claim to know the definitive answers to the questions.
If you are a lay person looking for a behavioral economics book for the general audience, you should probably look to Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's Nudge or Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational. All three of those authors are first-tier scholars and major contributors to the literature in their own right, and those books are written with a non-specialist audience in mind.